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Speakers for the 4th 'Beyond Borders: Breakfast Debate' Announced

The Border Focal Point Network is delighted to announce the speakers for the 4th edition of the ‘Beyond Borders: Breakfast Debate’ series. The event, entitled after the recent European Commission’s report of the same name as EU border regions: living labs of European integration will take place on 28th September 2021 from 10:00 CET to 11:10 CET. Representatives from the European Commission will present the report key findings and discuss them with cross-border project leaders, representatives of cross-border associations and national authorities from around Europe.  

The event will be introduced by Slawomir Tokarski, Director for Industrial Policy and Innovation, DG REGIOSlawomir Tokarski will present evidence from the report highlighting the critical importance of cross-border cooperation as a test bed for European integration, both inside and outside its external borders. 

The discussion will then continue with two local b-solutions projects: the HealthcareTwinning project in Valga-Valka (EE-LV) and the cross-border transport of CO2 in the North Sea Port project (BE-NL) 

Lea Vutt will present the first project. Ms Vutt is Head of International Projects at the Valga Municipality Government, Estonia. Before joining the Municipality in 2018, she was Head inspector at the Agricultural Registers and Information Board. Throughout her career at the Valga Municipality, she has gained extensive experience in implementing activities and projects concerning the municipality’s foreign relations and cross-border cooperation and marketing. Among other projects, she has been highly involved in the sustainable mobility planning and development of the twin-cities of Valga-Valka (EE-LV). 

AProject leader Energy transition and Sustainability at the North Sea Port,  Arjan Schipaanboord is will present the second project. In his role, Mr Schipaanboord is involved in the cross-border transport of CO2 , which is crucial to encourage sustainable transport of goods and reduction of emissions.   

After the presentation of the Estonian-Latvian and Belgian-Dutch cross-border projectsa panel discussion involving all speakers will follow on the “Solutions and policies that maximise border regions potential and boost their economic recovery and resilience. In this discussion cross-border and European Commission representatives will be joined by Ocskay Gyula and Desislava Tencheva. 

Ocskay Gyula is Secretary General, Central European Service for Cross-Border Initiatives (CESCI)Gyula has been involved in cross-border cooperation and development since 1999 and since 2009 he has been managing the work of CESCI which is a think-and-do-tank of cross-border cooperation. In this position he is actively involved in cross-border research projects, cross-border strategic planning, programming and evaluation, institutional and project development, policy making and knowledge sharing activities. 

Desislava Tencheva is Chief expert at the Territorial Cooperation Management Directorate for the Ministry of Regional Development and Public works. In her role, she leads the 2021-2027 ‘IPA Cross Border Cooperation Programme’ between Bulgaria and its neighbouring countries Serbia, Republic of North Macedonia and Turkey. Before becoming a Chief expert at the ministry, Desislava has gained experience as a freelance public policy consultant, specifically in topics such as economic and sectoral development, regional, local, rural and NGO development. 

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